Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ezra B Single Barrel 12 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $40
- 99 Proof
- 12 Years
- Barrel #623
- Region: Kentucky

When I first started to drink more bourbon and less Scotch, Ezra B was one of those bottles that I always saw on the shelf, memorable for the bottle design, particularly the ribbon and waxy medal on the front. And yet, it was that design that turned me away from it. I felt that the hokey design might signify a lesser quality bourbon, apparently ignoring the fact that this is a 12-year Kentucky bourbon at a very reasonable price.

And then it went away, and I just didn't see it on shelves anyway, and I had some regret at never having given it a chance. Two years later, though, I managed to locate a bottle in a gas station liquor store, and I didn't pass up the opportunity. I missed out on not grabbing it way back when.

The nose is rich, primarily oak and sweet vanilla--a traditional and welcome scent. There's also a bit of cherry on the nose, but not the medicine-like cherry. Rather, it's got a bit of fresh, real cherry that adds to the delicious nose.

This bourbon is incredibly drinkable. It's full of sweet vanilla and caramel, reminding me in the first few pours of a caramel sundae. The oak that was on the nose doesn't come through on the palate. It was so prevalent on the nose I really thought that it would, but there's no dryness or bitterness to this bourbon at all.

It has a nice, oily texture that coats the mouth, and it leaves behind a nice cinnamon spice that seems to stick around forever. The sweet vanilla also lingers a bit on the finish, though not nearly as long as the cinnamon.

As much as I enjoyed the first few pours, this bottle only got better and better as I made my way through it. The caramel sundae comparison holds strong, if not becoming even more apt. It is a sweet and smooth bourbon, an excellent example that I'd pour for a novice drinker as a prime example of what I would want in a bourbon.

The last few pours might have been the best, as the cinnamon spice turned more into a cinnamon sugar flavor, the kind I used to put on toast with butter as a sweet snack when I was a kid. It also picked up some maple syrup notes that made this a very breakfast-y bourbon.

Overall, this is an absolutely delicious bourbon, not one to be passed up due to off-putting ribbon and medal draped around the bottle's neck.

Grade: A-

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